PMC Twenty5.22

FOR Stun­ning clar­ity and pre­ci­sion; ex­cit­ing tim­ing AGAINST Ri­vals of­fer sub­tler dy­nam­ics; can be too in­sis­tent

What Hi-Fi (UK) - - Contents -

Nearly ev­ery per­son in the of­fice thinks this pair of £2500 stand­moun­ters looks lovely and sounds as­tound­ing. They're part of PMC’S Twenty5 range, which cel­e­brates the com­pany’s 25th an­niver­sary. Al­most ev­ery as­pect of them has been changed from the pop­u­lar Twenty se­ries, which con­tin­ues as the en­try-level range.

For­mula One speak­ers

While we’re in­un­dated with plenty of smart-look­ing speak­ers, the PMC Twenty5.22s are just cool. Maybe it’s the glint of metal sur­round­ing the mid/bass driver or the mir­rored panel at the back, with new sin­gle-wired ter­mi­nals that are sat­is­fy­ing to plug into.

Or maybe it’s the vent on the front panel that looks like some­thing bor­rowed from a For­mula One car. In fact, it is. PMC looked to F1 for in­spi­ra­tion on aero­dy­nam­ics and ap­plied it to the Twenty5 range.

Called Lam­i­nair, the vented port works along­side PMC’S sig­na­ture ATL (ad­vanced trans­mis­sion line) tech­nol­ogy. ATL is essentially an alternative re­flex port. It forces the backwards en­ergy of the mid/ bass driver through a damped path­way within the speaker and out of the front port, ab­sorb­ing all but the low­est fre­quen­cies as it does so. As this low-end en­ergy leaves the front port, it re­in­forces the driver’s for­ward out­put, re­sult­ing in more pow­er­ful bass. It’s PMC’S crown­ing glory.

Tech­nol­ogy that works

Lam­i­nair is the jewel in that crown. It streamlines the ef­fect of the ATL, smooth­ing the air­flow and iron­ing out the mini tur­bu­lences that oc­cur as the air leaves the port. The re­sult? A cleaner, more ef­fi­cient air­flow that gives you taut bass and bet­ter tim­ing.

Also new is the cone of the mid/bass driver, now a stiffer glass fi­bre and pulp hy­brid ma­te­rial called g-weave, while the mag­net and mo­tor sys­tem has been made 80 per cent more pow­er­ful than that of the Twenty.22. The dome tweeter’s metal grille has been tweaked to help dis­perse sound bet­ter and the speaker di­men­sions have been sub­tly ad­justed.

Great def­i­ni­tion

Thanks to these im­prov­ments, the PMC Twenty5.22 speak­ers are en­joy­able right from the start. Their en­thu­si­as­tic and speedy char­ac­ter comes across im­me­di­ately. Wy­clef Jean’s Thug An­gels de­pends on a strong bassline and in­sis­tent beat, and the PMCS charge through the song with­out los­ing breath, a tightly con­trolled and pre­cise de­liv­ery. There’s depth and tex­ture to the bassline but, more im­pres­sively, its shape is de­fined in a way we’ve never heard be­fore at this price.

Hans Zim­mer’s Cow­ard from In­ter­stel­lar fully shows off the PMCS’ tal­ents. The metro­nomic tick­ing is crisp and snappy, there’s a sense of build up and the tre­ble has just enough shine to keep you on edge. It’s that low, puls­ing heart­beat that cap­ti­vates us, though. Its edges are stun­ningly de­fined.

What strikes us most is how re­mark­ably clean the sound is. Each note is pris­tine. You can al­most see the shape of ev­ery in­stru­men­tal strand – the out­line of the rough, springy bass strings, the taut twang of the guitar, the smack of the drum hits, the nu­anced vo­cals.

Calm down, dear

Com­pared with the ATC SCM19S – the class lead­ers at this price – the PMCS have su­perb tim­ing, clar­ity and def­i­ni­tion. But that fast and ex­cit­ing char­ac­ter can be a touch too much at times.

That heart­beat in In­ter­stel­lar? The PMCS get the pre­cise shape of the notes across but the ATCS ac­tu­ally make them sound scary.

You can add more heft to the PMCS by a bit of care­ful sys­tem match­ing. We’d rec­om­mend some­thing bold and meaty such as the Rok­san Caspian M2 am­pli­fier. On the plus side, the Twenty5.22s are re­fresh­ingly un­fussy when it comes to positioning, al­though mak­ing some space around them helps.

It’s not en­tirely fair to com­pare the PMCS with the ATCS but we find the lat­ter a more com­fort­able, emo­tive lis­ten. That doesn’t take away from how en­joy­able the PMCS are, though. If we could fuse the two, we'd be the per­fect pair of speak­ers.

Even so, we can’t deny how much fun we had with the PMC Twenty5.22s. They’re su­perb speak­ers for the money, and we urge you to give them a lis­ten.

PMCS look cool with their F1in­spired lower 'Lam­i­nair' port

At­ten­tion to de­tail con­tin­ues on the back of the PMC speak­ers

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